I discussed integration of Excel with Azure Machine Learning in another post (https://econolytics.org/2016/11/19/pricing-and-proposal-management/ ). I should also mention that Tableau integrates with R, (and more importantly for real world applications, AML or AWS through web services), so plenty of options for Analytics in Tableau. In the image above, I’m showing how Tableau calls RStudio from a Calculated Field (predicting prices using a multivariate support vector machine). For more on this, take a look at Bora Beran’s blog (https://boraberan.wordpress.com/). Bora is a Microsoft Alum, now with Tableau – good stuff. Tableau and Excel (with PowerPivot and PowerBI) are roughly equivalent, but neither is an analytics tool (I realize that Tableau has a tab titled “Analytics”, but a few regression, and one clustering algorithm does not make an analytics tool).
For complex analysis of large datasets, it’s more productive to work within an R environment (which have strong visualization). The R CRAN library has thousands of packages that can be integrated in infinite ways. Better to start in the room without walls – add graphics later.